Bell Canada Award (2001)

News Releases - Ottawa, 26 March 2001
Toronto video artist Richard Fung wins Bell Canada Award in Video Art

The Canada Council for the Arts and Bell Canada are pleased to announce that video artist Richard Fung is the winner of the 2000 Bell Canada Award for outstanding achievement in video art. The prize will be presented on Thursday, April 19, 2001, at the occasion of the independent film and video festival, IMAGES Festival. The ceremony will take place at the Innis Town Hall, at the University of Toronto.

Shirley L. Thomson, director of the Canada Council for the Arts, will present the artist with a framed certificate, and Sylvie Lalande, Chief Communications Officer, Bell Canada will present him with a cheque for $10,000. A reception will precede the presentation and screening of excerpts of Richard Fung’s work.

Continuing its tradition of patronage of the arts, Bell Canada provides the Canada Council with an annual gift to fund the Bell Canada Award in Video Art. The $10,000 prize has been awarded annually since 1991 for exceptional contribution by a video artist or artists to the advancement of video art in Canada and to the development of video languages and practices (videotapes, installations or Web-based video art). Past winners of the award are Robert Morin and Lorraine Dufour, of Montreal (1991); Paul Wong, of Vancouver (1992); Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak, of Toronto (1993); Zacharias Kunuk and Norm Cohen, of Igloolik, NWT (1994); Sara Diamond of Banff, Alberta (1995); Colin Campbell of Toronto (1996); Jan Peacock of Halifax (1997); Luc Bourdon of Montreal (1998); and Vera Frenkel of Toronto (1999).

Richard Fung was selected by a jury of professional video artists. The jury members were Wendy Oberlander (Vancouver), Christine Ross (Montréal), Kim Tomczak (Toronto) et Paul Wong (Vancouver). Four artists were nominated for the prize by a panel consisting of Lisa Steele (Toronto); Gerry Kisil (Calgary) and Nicole Gingras (Montréal). Media representatives are invited to attend the reception, ceremony and screening.

Prize presentation
Thursday, April 19, 2001, 4:45 - 6:15 p.m.
Innis Town Hall (reception, presentation and screening)
2 Sussex Avenue, Toronto

As space is limited, those who wish to attend the ceremony are asked to confirm their attendance to 1800263-5588 or 613-566-4414 ext. 4106.

Richard Fung

Richard Fung’s contribution to the field of video art is three-fold. As an artist, his video work has continued to develop strands of experimentation, narrative hybridity and cultural voice into lyrically politicized tapes, each with its own formal approach—be it the personalized documentary-cum-diary of My Mother’s Place to Shawn Fowler’s careening stream-of-consciousness performance in School Fag. Fung is, indeed, one of Canada’s most widely exhibited artists working in video, showing in festivals and curated programs in major museums and community centres, hosted by major institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, N.Y., and grassroots cultural organizations such as the Chinese Cultural Centre in Vancouver.

As a writer, curator, lecturer and panelist, Fung is recognized for his contribution to contemporary film and video scholarship, particularly his examination of codes inherent to dominant forms of culture and for his clear presentations of strategic actions which challenge this dominance. His knowledge of contemporary video is encyclopedic and he is recognized for his abilities to synthesize and articulate complex issues of identity and representation. He has taught at the Ontario College of Art, University of California at Irvine, California Institute for the Arts and S.U.N.Y. (Buffalo), has received the McKnight Fellowship, at Intermedia Arts Centre for Arts Criticism and Asian American Renaissance. Minneapolis-St. Paul (1996), a Rockefeller Fellowship, Centre for Media, Culture and History, New York University (1995) and the Bulloch Award for best Canadian work in the Inside Out Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival, Toronto (1996).

And finally, as an activist, Richard Fung has made an inestimable contribution to human rights issues here and abroad. His commitments include production of documentary works such as Out of the Blue, curatorial projects such as the 17-title series Fresh Looks: anti-racist film and video, community service such as his involvement with the Canada Council’s Committee for Racial Equality, his founding membership in Gay Asian Toronto, his work with the Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples and the Committee Against Homophobia.